Monday, November 13, 2006

Me Against the World?

I've been feeling really lonely lately. I am not dating anyone. My best friend is MIA. My family is far away and busy with their own lives. My roommate and I aren't as close as we used to be. The same can be said for some other friends I have. My other friends are too busy, not very close to me or too "new" for me to burden them with my problems.

There are few people in your life you can call and whine to about being lonely! Especially when your mother has no sympathy for you. Because otherwise, she'd be first on my list. Normally, I can vent to her about anything. But she has no sympathy for the woe-is-me attitude. She'd just tell me to suck it up, quit whining and start making plans with my friends. I can hear her now: "The only cure for loneliness is to be around people." Which is right, but not what I want to hear right now. Besides, she's up to her eyeballs in work right now, so she wouldn't even have time to say that.

I'm not trying to whine or feel sorry for myself. Ok, maybe I am a little. But I was thinking about it this past weekend. After college, it's really hard to make friends. It's hard to meet people you really like and even harder to have prime bonding opportunities with them. It's easy in college--everyone you meet is close to your age, has a lot of the same goals, lives in the same town and there are umpteen chances to hang out: parties, study sessions, late-night food runs etc. Now, everyone gets married, has babies or moves away (that would be yours truly--not that I regret leaving Indy). It's hard to keep in touch without being in the same town or having similar day-to-day experiences. People grow apart. Which is fine-- it happens. I have tried to distance myself a few times, so it goes both ways. In any case, my circle of friends has shrunk these past few years. Not that I don't have friends. I have lots of friends. I think what is really missing right now is a best girlfriend. I am craving that close friendship intimacy which can only happen between two girls. (No, not like that, sicko!) A girl I talk to every day, who knows all my friends, who knows my day-to-day life, who hangs out with me on the weekends.

You'd think this would be a problem for someone who just moved to a new town, not someone who's lived here for 4 years!

Now that I'm on my own, it's really starting to hit me with how hard it can be to make new friends. I don't want to come off as over-eager, desperate or geeky. Although, secretly, when I meet someone I like, I could spend every day with them and never tire of it! So I usually hold back. And wait for it to develop naturally. It's hard, though, because as I get older, I find fewer and fewer people I actually like enough to talk to every day. So it's really exciting when it does happen!

So what is a good way to make a new friend? I don't want them to think I'm hitting on them or something-- "Wanna go out to dinner sometime?" can sound funny if not in the proper context. Ugh.
Normally, I just hold my breath, bring up the idea of happy hour drinks and hope for the best. That's what I did with MJ. It worked out very well.

I don't know why I've been so self-conscious about it lately. I'm a pretty friendly and outgoing person. Most people I know like me. I think that maybe it's because of all this stress I've been under (hello, stomach cramps!) and I don't have much of a support network right now. Lady Starfish has gone completely AWOL on me. I haven't heard from her in weeks. Maybe she needs a break from all my venting! If so, I guess I can understand. Actually, I'm starting to get worried about her...but that's a different post. In any case, she has left big shoes to fill and a big black hole in my support network. I miss her!!!

Sometimes, I chicken out when it comes to making new friends. It can almost be as nerve-wracking as a date, really. (This must be how guys feel!) Tonight is the last session in my cake-decorating class. And there is a girl in there. I adore her. She is so sweet and always lets me bum powdered sugar from her. I think she is really cool. But I keep chickening out. I don't know what's wrong with me. I guess since the class gets out at 9pm, that's kind of late to be going out afterwards. But I think some of us are going out after class tonight, so maybe I can make plans to do something with her this weekend. [Ugh, this really must be how guys feel. Only I bet it's worse for them.]

I think that it just really hit me this weekend, as I was moving all of my personal belongings (minus my furniture) by myself. Alone. All weekend. By last night, I was exhausted, starving and stressed out about a lot of things. All I wanted was someone to talk to and someone to have made me dinner. That would have been the best thing ever! Last night, I was tired of doing everything all on my own and having no one to talk to, bond with or lean on. I had no help. Besides Sammy, I felt totally alone. And the people I could have called aren't close enough to me yet for me to randomly ring them up and spill my guts to. They'd be annoyed, and then I'd be minus another friend! Who wants whiners in their life?

I think what I really want is a best friend. A girl I can count on, who will listen to me when I'm upset or pissed off or who will come over when I need someone. Who I can share secrets with and who can get excited for me about stuff. I will do the same for her. I have a very high listening tolerance for venting! Who needs dates? I want a best friend! Priorities, you know? Dating isn't any fun if you don't have someone to share the date reviews with!

How did you meet your best friend? Have you been best friends since you were 4 or 24? Have you had a hard time meeting friends as a young adult? Do you think having a best friend is essential, or can you live without it? I truly feel the need to have that one person with whom you are extremely close. Has anyone else found this to be true? Or am I a freak/loser who can't form deep and lasting friendships with other women? Am I the only one who feels lonely and needs a best friend in their life?

Then again, I'm kind of hormonal right now, so this could all be tied in with that! I tend to feel very sorry for myself during certain...times. Watch, tomorrow I'll be writing, "Please ignore my post from yesterday! It was the estrogen talking!"

Ugh, I almost don't want to hit the "Publish" button. I hate it when I'm like this.


Follow the Frog said...

It's REALLY hard to move to a new place and make connections. I once moved to Amsterdam for a couple of months and it was the loneliness time of my life. Seriously. And I know what you mean about starting to make new friends. How do you do that? I think that a good way to start, though, is when you meet someone new, suggest easy, low-key things similar to something you've discussed or have in common. For example, bring up how you need to buy something. Ask their suggestion on where to buy it. See from their answer if they seem like they like to shop or if they like shoping for this item, or if they seem interested at all. Then ask if they'd like to go sometime. Shopping can lead to lunch and if it's fun, you can do it again! And then a friendship will form. This could also work if you watch a TV show someone else watches--invite them over for ice cream and watch the show together. Or if you both like a certain type of food, you can suggest trying a new restaurant or a dinner party potluck thing where you each cook a dish. Just some's hard though, and I totally get it. Really, I do.

Stuck said...

You could've called me if you needed help moving. I will not, however, be your "best girlfriend." That might be a tad too emasculating. I'll make you a deal, though. You find me a woman to marry, and I'll let you and her be best girlfriends. ;)

jennster said...

it is hard to make friends that you want to spend time with. i have found that after college, i have met VERY VERY VERY (like 3) few people that i would want to go out of my way to hang out with. like outside of work, etc. and my best friends are all far away from me- yet, we are still best friends.. but there are times it super sucks not being able to go over and see them, or have them come over here. but i call them when i need them and vice versa. it still sucks though.

i moved up here last year and i have NO FUCKING GIRL FRIENDS up here. like at all. i mean, i love the girls i work with.. AT WORK. and since i have a kid, i'm busy being a mom.. not being a friend, you know? there are times it really really sucks that i feel like i have no friends. i really liked one of boyfrien'ds friends, wives. good god- i loved katie. but they moved to southern california and just about killed me. i miss having A girlfriend. i like to pretend like idon't need any girl friends, but it's just not true.

Random Musings Of My Life said...

OK did you just read my post about my new friend. I have been in Cali 3 years and yes its harder as you get older to make friends.. and good friends that are not full of drama. I know it sounds geeky but I put up and add on in my area and i have met a few cool people.. try it and through emails you can see is they are freaks or not (there were some of those.)

Red said...

I've never had many female friends. I've just always had more guy friends.. Since I'm married, I basically have no friends because it's wierd for my husband for me to have a bunch of guy friends. I have a few female friends, but none that are that reliable. My mom and I are really close though so it fills the void.. It certainly would have helped to have had a friend to rely on as well after the past few weeks I've had, so I know how you feel.

CT said...

You're completely not alone in how you feel. I moved to a different country about two years ago and it took me ages to find a good group of friends (like, about a year and a half!) I wish I could suggest how to meet new people, but really, I think it's just about putting yourself out there (which can be totally exhausting!) But eventually, (and with lots of getting out and painful mingling) in dribs and drabs you will come across people you like who are also on the lookout for new friends. It's a lot of work, but certainly worth it in the end.

Ajmal said...

Hi buddy

Felt really surprised to realise the coincidence of our lives...I've been through the same shit that u r being thro...I've got no immediate rememdy out of this but there are a few things that i can help u with...Firstly, realise that friendships is not all about receiving but giving too...Try helpin out ppl with their lives, yours may seem relatively much better than their tale of woes...its more of a give 'n take rather than take 'n then give...Hey, i've got to go now...but if u feel u wanna share something, y fear when i'm here??? mail me at ...I'll be glad to walk u thro this tough yet adventerous path of life!

Matilda Jane said...

Aw now I feel terrible for not calling you this weekend!!! VB, I adore you and I hope you know that. You're fabulous and considerate and fun. I know it sounds weird, but I was talking to my mom about you as if you were a new boyfriend or something.

It's VERY hard to make new friends, especially for girls. Guys can play b-ball and video games... girls have to bond and talk about personal things.

KT and I have been best friends for about a decade and a half, and have been through extremely hard times, and times we thought we wouldn't be friends anymore. Like a relationship, friendships take a lot of work and attention.

Please call me if you're having a weekend or day or night like that, I'll do my best to help you :-)

I guess I just want you to know that you can whine to me. Oh, and suck it up and ask your cake girl friend out on a date!

Anny said...

okayyyyyyyyy. you've officially just read my mind. i've been SO feeling like this - hence the previous recent depressing posts. i kinda came out of it - but i'm also one to attach myself completely to a new friend, only to sicken of them later (due to my own damn fault of spending too much time with them). but you're right, it's totally hard to find one real person who you can totally count on. u know what's pathetic? i always think to myself, oh well, i always have my blog! LOL

Megan said...

VB, I know how you feel! I have always had lots and lots of guy friends, but never many girl friends. In college I met two gals that I just adored. After graduation one joined the Navy and now we never hear from her. And recently (3 weeks ago) the other gal had a baby. Plus she lives 8 hours away! We sometimes go a few weeks without talking, but now I am scared to call her and wake the baby! My mom and I are super close, but like you, I miss those girlfriend chats! If you find the secret to making close friends at this age, please post it!

cmk said...

Even at MY advanced age (don't ask :)), it is hard to find girl friends. I have three 'sister/friends' and there are more times than I care to think about when I could use at least one more! Each of my friends came into my life in very different circumstances and each was unplanned. One of my friends is from childhood, one I reached out to while she was having a bad time in her life, and one started out as one half of a couple my husband and I became friendly with--different women, different circumstances. Really, I have no advice, I guess, just sympathy for what you are going through.

And don't EVER complain about 'whining' in your blog! THAT is EXACTLY what it is there for! Especially if it helps to make you feel even a LITTLE better! (We all need a pity party now and then. Go eat some chocolate, take a nice bubble bath, and watch a good movie--indulge yourself. Things WILL get better. :))

Anne said...

It is totally hard to meet good friends at this age. My best friend has been around since I was 4! And its still tough when she is with her family.

You shouldnt feel so bad about whining. It makes me feel bad because I whine twice as much as you! But seriously..sometimes we just need to whine. That "suck it up" attitude is fine when someone gets stuck in whine-mode but sometimes being a good friend is listening to the whining.

And you have had BIG things happening. Big stressful things. Its okay to feel whiny about stuff.

You know you should totally call me. I will try to call you this week. I am feeling a little friend lonley myself. I wish that I lived up there. We would have PJ parties and our dogs could be best friends and we could trash would be great. Just before I came to your site I was thinking "I miss VB!" I really do..ya know!

Anonymous said...

My friend and I have the same problem. We want to invite a site called efriend. It would work like eharmony but just for finding friends.

NotCarrie said...

I like the idea of the efriend site:)

Are there any blogger happy hours down there? I need to meet some new people, too, but you're right, it is tough to do.

teahouse said...

Hey, hang in there!

My best friend and I were roommates freshman year of college. She doesn't get along with anyone but me. Sometimes we're at each other's throats, but we love each other.

I'll be your bloggy best friend...that is, if you'll have me (shyly looks away).

M said...

so understand!! I am 40 and single and I have moved alot!
Before moving back to Indiana after 13 years I lived in Ann Arbor MI which was a college town. People were coming and going all of the time there! So, even if after living there 13 years, I would have to keep remaking new friends.

I met my best friends in Ann Arbor 12 years ago but both of them have moved to the east coast and we are losing touch.

I have not made any close friends after living in Indiana for 6 years.Most people are married with kids.

PS Do you know enough people to throw yourself a housewarming party? Maybe planning a social event will help you feel less lonely.
I don't actually agree that the only answer to loneliness is to be around people. For me it depends on the people!Sometimes I prefer to be alone.

Hang in there!

Relationship Girl said...

Its so nice to hear someone else talking about something you sometimes feel!!I moved away for about a year and found it so difficult to make freinds; go for it with the girl in your class, the worst she can say is that she is busy! It's a shame that some people aren't more open minded with who they make freinds with' most people are in a kind of bubble and hate stepping outside of it!! But keep preservering I'm sure you'll find lots of cool new friends!!

Becky said...

i dont really LIKE to make that many new friends lol. i'm not very social or outgoing believe it or not. i met my best friend morgan here at work. she doesn't work here anymore but we're still super close. i probably can count all my girlfriends that i consider friends and i trust and talk to on both hands. but i like it that way. some are net friends. some are friends i've had since jr high or HS and some are friends i've met since ive been married. keep your head up woman! you can always call/email me!

The Dummy said...

You know that feeling you get when someone invites you out for some drinks with friends? You think "Great! - I have something to do and to look forward to" - we all tend to have that response to invitations, and the thing is - we all WAIT for them to happen to us. We'd be thrilled to get asked, but each of us keeps waiting for the other person to open up first. Be that first person, bring a 3rd or 4th party along to diffuse and buffer the situation and you've got the potential making of a friend. Be the first to invite, do it over drinks (or whatever girls like to do), and take it from there! It's a hit or miss proposition, but if there was some good friend chemistry to begin with, you might have a good shot at making a friend. And don't worry - we ALL have the same fears and concerns you do about making friends. It's hard to do it after college or high school!

Virginia Belle said...

i love you guys. comforting sympathy, helpful advice.....this makes me want to whine more often!